Julie Storr shares a reflection on the Collect for the Mass for the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B).
Thank you for joining me! This week I want to start off with a little bit about the parts of the Collects. As I studied the Collects of the Roman Missal, I found that there are five parts to the prayer. Not all five parts are in every prayer. Sometimes, in this week’s prayer, for example, they’re not in their usual order.
To tells us who the prayer is addressed to, and Who gives us a description of God or what God does. Do is what we ask God to do, and the Accrue is what we have to gain. The Accrue is a dependent phrase, meaning, that in order to receive it, it depends on something else, which is found in the Do. The prayer closes with the Through: we pray through our Mediator, Jesus Christ.
Today we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Look upon us, O God, Creator and ruler of all things, and, that we may feel the working of your mercy, grant that we may serve you with all our heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
Let’s start with what we’re asking God to do: look on us, or have regard for us, and grant (allow) that we may serve Him with our whole heart.
Serving can sound exhausting. It seems there is always someone who needs to be served. However, serve (Latin servire) means to be in service, and it also means to comply with or conform. Jesus served by being conformed to the will of his Father.
Feeling the working of God’s mercy is the Accrue in the prayer, it’s the benefit we’re asking for. In the Latin form of the prayer, the word for “working" is “effectum,” or effect. It’s used as a verb here, and it means bring to pass or accomplish. This phrase could be literally translated as, “may we feel the effects of God accomplishing his mercy in us.”
Sometimes I get pretty left-brained and I just want to know, “What does that feel like?” Then I realized that I have felt it, and I’d bet that you have, too. The peace you feel after you celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation? That’s God’s mercy working in you. That joy you felt when you were able to help a stranger? God was showing that stranger his mercy through you.
Feeling the working of God’s mercy is dependent on serving God with all our heart. As I reflected on it, I looked to the Saints for example. The Saints experienced God’s mercy first and weren’t shy about giving it to others. Their desire to serve God with their whole being is what brought God’s mercy to those around them.
As we Lectio the Liturgy:
This week has the potential to be an exciting one for you. God may give you an opportunity to experience being an opportunity of mercy. It may be for someone else, but it may be God, wanting to shower his love on you.
Thank you for praying with me!
Copyright 2021 Julie Storr
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About the Author
Julie Storr surprised herself when she went from “never ever going to be Catholic” to a lover of the lectionary. Her thirst for the Faith is never quenched and she is always surprised at the depth of the relationship one can find in the Catholic Church. She and her husband live in Pocahontas, Iowa. They have two grown sons and are excited to be expecting a daughter-in-law next year. Learn how to Lectio the Liturgy at LectioTheLiturgy.com.